I went to a bachelorette party over the weekend for a good friend, which was a total blast. The theme of the festivities, in honor of my friend who adores themes, was Arabian Nights, so I put on my cooking thinking hat, polled some friends, and found some recipes. In the end, I only had time to whip up one (I’m holding onto the baklava recipe for a future time), so I went with the baba ghanoush.
We got together around three in the afternoon for an afternoon lounging around (and in) the pool, snacking on a variety of munchables, including some tasty brie bites, which I’m dying to get the recipe for. Dinner, after all that, was even tastier: hummus, baba ghanoush, a wild rice and pine nut medley, poppy lime fruit (I wasn’t sure about the baba ghanoush, so I made both), and this awesome chicken dish that I also would love to get the recipe for — the hostess called it a chicken manwich and served it in pitas with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Anyway, the baba ghanoush isn’t the best dish I’ve ever made, but it was definitely better after having sat overnight, and with some work, I think it would be really good.
Baba Ghanoush, from a friend
2 lbs eggplant (whole)
2 cloves garlic, minced/chopped
1/2 cup tahini or natural peanut butter (use less peanut butter, as the flavor is quite strong)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp cumin
Poke the eggplants with a fork a few times and put them on the grill. If you don’t poke them, they’ll explode. Don’t ask me how I know this, just trust me! Let the outsides blacken, turning as needed, and pull from the grill when the eggplants are blackened and soft.
Cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the insides, or peel them and dump out the insides, whichever you prefer. Using cheesecloth, a fine mesh strainer, a coffee filter or a clean dish towel, strain the extra liquid from the eggplant into a bowl and discard. The eggplant should have a texture like overly-liquidy mashed potatoes.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to combine. When mixed, add the eggplant and blend on low speed until mostly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, spread the baba ghanoush on a plate about 1/3″ or so thick and drizzle with olive oil. You can also add tabasco sauce, paprika, chopped fresh parsley, or coarse pepper, whatever makes your tastebuds tingle.